Why Liz Warren should have gone on Fox News

Elizabeth Warren turned down an invitation from Fox News to do a candidate town hall, calling the “news” station out for their blatant hate speech and for “giving a megaphone,” to racists.

While Warren is right that the fake news network is a homing beacon to the vomit inducing white right, she has lost an opprotunity to gain serious political capital by rejecting their invitation.

Now I want to stress this point before I go any further, Warren is not obliged to go on Fox News. To be honest any leftist or anyone who leans left is not obligated to take the baited hook that right wingers like Fox News or Ben Shapiro throw. “Debate me!”

Warren is also one hundred percent right about the station’s explicit racism and implicent enabling of violent white supremacy.

However, Warren has shot herself in the foot once again, like she did when she released that racist DNA test and when she endorsed Hillary Clinton. This would have been Warren’s opprotunity to save face with the white and rural voters who are so quick to reject her for the connections she made in her career to Obama and Hillary Clinton. If she had taken this town hall she could have used it as a platform to go into the heart of the belly of the beast and take down the harmful talking points against her policies, much like how Bernie did.

Bernie went into the belly of the beast, knife in hand, and came out holding the monster’s heart to the sky. When the anchor was bested by his own baiting question about government run healthcare, it was check mate for Bernard Sanders.

Bernie’s town hall gave him a huge degree of political capital. Overnight one of Fox News’ most idiotic talking points was defeated, “Most people don’t want government run health care,” they like to say. Yet with a simple cheering of the crowd and Bernie on the receiving end, the station has now been forced to scramble and rethink its rhetoric.

That is a key to winning in the art of war, keep your enemy confused, and make no mistake, we are in a class war.

This is the chance that Warren has thrown away, the chance to let Fox News own itself, as the kids would say, and come out the other end victorious and validated. By refusing the invitation, she has only played into the fodder that democrats cannot speak to Fox News base, and that fodder will cost her in the long run should she actually win the nomination.

Warren is right, Fox News is the news station for racists. However you do not end racism by running away from it. Racism ends only when it is confronted. The same with all forms of bigotry and prejudice. Bernie confronted the prejudice that Americans fear big government more than they fear big insurance, and he won. That is something the left is finally getting good at again, winning.

Warren can’t win a fight when she runs away from it.

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Elizabeth Warren’s Mistake In 2016

I acknowledge that in 2016 I came very intensely after Elizabeth Warren. Like many of Bernie’s 2016 supporters I was hurt by her endorsement of Hillary Clinton. I think Warren has since almost made up for the error by coming forward with genuinely radical and necessary policy platforms in her presidential campaign, policies that remind us that she was once a people’s hero in the fight against Wall Street and can be once again.

Her plan to cancel student debt is as pivotal as Bernie’s Medicare for All or prisoner voting rights platforms. Her open challenges to Joe Biden on his ties to the credit card companies is commendable and so is the work she has put into protecting consumers for this entire decade. She deserves credit where credit is due.

With all of that said, I am still a little bitter about what happened in 2016. I realize it is somewhat trivial to complain about what could or should have been, but damn it I am genuinely convicned that if she had not played the 2016 primary as cautiously as she had we would not have a Trump presidency.

Here is what I mean, because Warren waited to endorse whoever won the nomination instead of endorsing Bernie from the beginning of his candidacy she hurt his campaign, a campaign that would have easily defeated Trump in the general election. Yes, I am still a “Bernie would have won,” kind of person and truth be told I probably always will be.

It is understandable why she waited to endorse the definite front runner instead of taking a stand early on. At the time it made sense as the politically cautious move to stand for a united Democratic party against Trump. However that caution came at a price. It hurt Bernie’s ability to develop the klout needed to counter harmful talking points spewed by the Hillary people.

When Warren endorsed Clinton she went from being a darling of the Occupy alumni to another mouth piece for neoliberals, at least in the eyes of Bernie supporters who also supported her. One of the reasons that Bernie, and Warren for that matter, have stayed so popular is that several of us who came out of the Occupy movement remember them as the only public servants to demonstrate admiration and respect for the movement and its sentiments.

So Warren did not only hurt Bernie by endorsing Hillary late in the election, she hurt herself. By endorsing Clinton and by endorsing her as close to the end of the primary as she did, she synonymized her name and platform with the vomit inducing identity politics of Hillary’s campaign. Instead of having her working class values and background tied to Bernie’s pro working class platform, she attached her identity as a woman to Clinton and by doing so she helped enable the “only sexists vote for Bernie” talking point of Hillary supporters, a talking point which erases and hurts all of the non male supporters of Bernie.

Had Warren endorsed Bernie from the get go, the myth of the “Bernie bro” would have been squashed and would have had no foundation to grow. Also, with her endorsement would have come her very extensive and supportive base, but now that base is arguably very much in the establishment camp because of her hesitancy to get involved with the primary until a front runner was decided. Warren is now synonymous with supporting establishment capitalist democrats like Hillary, which is folly because Warren’s policies are arguably much closer to Bernie’s than they ever were to people like Clinton, Harris, Biden, or Booker.

I want to make it clear, I do understand why Warren didn’t endorse Sanders, but I think it was a mistake that inevitably cost Bernie the primary and damaged Warren’s reputation as a challenger of big money capitalism, which in-turn gave us the shitty general election that birthed the Trump presidency.

But what hurt Warren the most is the fact that despite her policy and platform being much more in line with Bernie’s she endorsed someone with completely opposite values to her. Warren has much more incommon policy wise with Bernie than she ever will with the Clintons and Bidens of the world. The fact she did not make that clear in 2016 not only hurt Bernie but it hurt her, because now there are leftists like myself, who do remember her public challenges to Wall Street and her bold demands for consumer protections and market regulations. Now it is hard for me to get excited about her candidacy because I still view the Clinton 2016 endorsement as an act of political cowardice. I used to think it was straight up betrayal, but after getting involved with politics as an activist and as an organizer I’m willing to say I understand why she did what she did in 2016. However let us always remember that understanding an action is not the same as supporting it.

Will Liz Warren make the same mistakes this time? It is very possible that she will. Warren clearly is a politician who acts with caution. I do not fault her for being tactical but I will fault her if that tactic comes with compromising her values. However I can say that if she remains consistent with her demands for canceling student debt and if she does not backtrack support for Medicare for all then I would be genuinely happy with a Sanders/Warren or Warren/Sanders 2020 ticket. However I would be thrilled by the idea even more if she stepped up and admited that not endorsing Bernie in 2016 at the beginning of the primary was a mistake.

All in all, I do want to like Elizabeth Warren, I do miss the days where she and Bernie both were patron saints of the 99%. But until we address what happened in 2016 I will always have misgivings about her. I do not think Warren is bad, at least not as much as I used to, I do think she has to answer for 2016.

Let’s face it, most of the Democratic Nominees for President are TERRIBLE!

This primary is giving me ulcers. I can’t fucking take much more of it. If one more liberal calls Bernie a Russian agent I will become a full on Marxist Leninist and sing the Soviet national anthem on street corners as I hand out poorly Xeroxed propaganda. If one more mediocre no name white guy decides to enter the race I might retch, and retch bile at that!

Sanders and Warren are the only two candidates who I am willing to even tolerate the idea of giving the nomination for the presidency to. Yes, I was very critical of Warren back in 2016 and I still have issues with how she handled the Bernie vs. Hillary situation. I also do not think she can beat Trump, full stop. However I will give her credit where credit is due, her working class background is admirable and her plan to cancel student debt is as worthy of praise as Bernie’s emphasis on Medicare for all. I will also add that Mike Gravel is legit, he is a real one! But as of now he is not what I would call a “strong contender.”

With that said, I despise almost of all the other democratic candidates for the nomination. Each one of them, save for a very select few outside of Warren and Sanders, have shown themselves to be agents of imperialism, agents of patriarchy, agents of gentrification, agents of white supremacy, or just a flat out terrible people.

Here is why every current Democratic party candidate, as of the time this was written, sans Warren and Sanders, is a disgusting human being worth your revile:

Kamala Harris – Kamilla Harris wants you to believe she is one of the most progressive candidates to enter the 2020 race. She also wants you to ignore the fact that she is a liar who is responsible for ruining the lives of countless families. As Attorney General and a District Attorney her prosecution of parents for truancy put countless, mostly black, people in jail. Not only did this break families up and provide more free labor for our vampiric prison industrial complex, but it has yet to be discussed what became of the children who lost their parent’s to the prison system. How many of them were seperated? How many of them were traumtized? How many of them ended up rejecting our entire system after seeing their parents get punished for their own truancy?

It should also be noted that Harris promised to not accept lobbyist or corporate donations, she has since accepted donations from lobbyists in California, New York, and South Carolina, including money from a lobbyist for pipeline firm EQT and Google’s parent company “Alphabet.” There is nothing progressive about taking money from either of these entities. Harris calling herself a progressive is an insult to our intelligence and it should be treated as such.

Kamila Harris is a liar who ruined lives, to hell with her.

Cory Booker – Booker promised to not accept corporate or lobbyist donations as well. However that doesn’t seem to be working out because not only has he accepted lobbyist money, he is the number one recipient of donations from employees of private health insurance firms, pharmacutical companies, and the biggest enemy of the people, Wall Street.

Cory Booker, like Harris, wants us to believe he is a progressive, but also like Harris, he is nothing but a fraud. A classic politician who insults the intelligence of the average voter by saying they’ll do something while doing the opposite, as if we won’t notice or as if he just doesn’t care.

Sorry Cory, but the fact you want to legalize weed and that you date Rosario Dawson, a former Sanders supporter, doesn’t win you progressive points.

Amy Klobuchar – This has less to do with policy, of which she seems to have none, and more to do with personality. But in my opinion Klobucher is one of the worst people running for office.

According to former staffers Klobuchar is abusive and even violent at times. She has thrown binders and books at staffers when they have made mistakes and has shown that (forgive my ablist terminology) she is what my father would call a “grand looney.”

Once when a staffer brought her a salad for lunch but forgot the fork, after publicly berating the staffer Kolbuchar then took out her comb and PROCEEDED TO EAT THE SALAD WITH IT! (I was right, I’m about to retch!) She then gave the staffer the comb and demanded that they “wash it off and get it back to her.”

I guess dijon dressing is good for the scalp? *Cringe*Retch*Repeat*

Pete Buttigeig – In my opinion, Buttegieg is the most disingenious person running for the nomination, even more than Harris or Booker. For one he is not intersectional with his analysis at all, he is very much a rainbow capitalist and a white rainbow capitalist at that.

In his recent town hall he equated Bernie supporters with Trump supporters and publicly disagreed with Bernie’s idea that prisoners should vote. By doing so he demonstrated that he does not understand how a disporportionate amount of people in jail are people of color. The laws robbing them of their right to vote is inturn disproportionally silencing people of color, robbing them of basic human rights both in the short and long term.

It might also interest people to know that as a mayor he handed over a popular public park to a private developer, which in turn lead to displacement and increased gentrification in his city. When Bernie was mayor of Burlington he basically told landlords to fuck off and that they “will not displace anyone in my city!” Fuck yeah Bernie!

Also, Pete is “proud” of his service in the military for this country. Anyone who is proud of having gone to Iraq or Afghanistan to kill and perpetuate American empire will get no respect from me. I can only imagine how many middle eastern lives were ruined by him and his troop regiment.

Beto O Rourke – “I will take no pac money,” he says in Facebook ads paid for by his political pacs. Yes, you read that correctly. He has also refused to sign a pledge to turn down fossil fuel industry money, maybe it has to do with the fact that he recieved a donation from Chevron’s top lobbyist before the end of the last fiscal quarter. https://theintercept.com/2019/04/17/democratic-candidates-lobbyist-donations/

Also, Beto and his wife, a billionaire heiress who founds charter schools, have earned themselves a reputation as gentrifiers in the city of El Paso. Gentrifiers are not only despicable capitalists, they are agents of white supremacy. Also, as a former charter school employee I can assure you that charter schools rob youth of equal opprotunities, they divert needed funds from already underfunded public schools, and they hurt teacher unions. Beto, betta go fuck himself. (teehee)

Tulsi Gabbard – Gabbard is an apologist for Syrian dictator Assad and has ties to the Fascist Modhi of India. Next…

Julian Castro – Castro is one person who I am willing to concede is not a “terrible” person, but he is ridiculously disingenuous. Castro criticized Bernie for his remarks about reparations, but failed to actually take a stance of his own on the issue. Like most of the other candidates, Castro seems to believe you can stand for something while standing for nothing.

Oh wait, he supports NAFTA!? Nevermind, he is horrible, he is never to be to trusted.

Kristen Gillibrand – Gillibrand has accepted $1,206,513 in donations from Wall Street in her last election and $80,483 from pharmaceutical company Pfizer. Among her top donors are Bank of America, Blackstone, and Morgan Stanley. No sale, no appeal, no vote from me. Next…

John Delany– “Who?” You might be asking, well all I need to know about him is that he is a moderate democrat who created a lending service called Health Care Financial Partners which profits off of loans made to companies in the healthcare for profit industry. Anyone who makes money off this atrocious healthcare system is scum.

Next victim…

John Hickenlooper – Sexist, period. When asked if he would pick a female running mate (as any male running in this election should) he responded with “Why aren’t women being asked if they will choose a male running mate?”

Take it to the 4chan feed you worthless M.R.A. Then go fuck yourself.

Jay Inslee – Inslee has a solid environmentalist record, no joke and no snarck there, credit where credit is due. Props to you Inslee for putting Earth first.

BUT…. this little line from a Seatle Times article conjecturing about his approaching presidential run seems important…

Inslee was the chief cheerleader of the largest corporate tax break in U.S. history, $8.7 billion to woo Boeing’s 777 plant” – https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/if-jay-inslee-runs-for-president-his-biggest-accomplishment-may-be-his-undoing/ (Danny Westneat)

Damn it Inslee, you were so close to not sucking!!! But you do, so…

Wayne Messam – Again, “Who?” Well according to the all knowing google he is the Mayor of Miramar, Florida. To be honest, unlike the others his record is relatively solid aside from championing for Hillary Clinton in 2016, but beyond that there is little controversy to him.

However something to be careful about is that he does own his own construction company. I live in a city where our city council and former mayor’s close ties to contractors have resulted in gentrification and atrocious development deals.

Out of all the no name candidates though, he is honestly the least problematic, which also kind of makes him the most boring candidate. Hell Messam, give us a sexist comment, a shitty investment, something to love/hate you for!!!

Seth Moultan – On the surface this guy is kind of awesome, he opposed relecting Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the house and he won his spot in the House by ousting an incumbent corporate democrat. He supports weed legalization, and he openly compares Donald Trump to Adolph Hitler. He has even called Nancy Pelosi out for her reluctance to impeach Trump. Moultan even identifies as a progressive and as a former Marine opposed returning troops to Iraq in 2014. However the level of pride Moultan has put into his own military record, 4 tours of duty in Iraq, is reason to give pause.

Tim Ryan – Now we are back to people who are genuinely terrible. Ryan had to be convinced to support abortion, calling it a “personal choice.” For thousands of women abortion is not merely a personal choice it is a medical neccesity. Anyone who is uncomfortable talking about abortion in a positive way in my opinion lacks basic understanding of medicine and biology. Also any man who has misgivings about abortion needs to shut the fuck up. Until human males carry the litter our only stance on abortion should be that it is legal, safe, but above all ACCESSIBLE!

I find it also disingenuious that he calls himself a pro union and pro labor candidate who thinks its good optics to say “You’re not going to get me to hate someone for being rich, I want to be rich.”

Excuse me while I vomit with annoyance and rage, again!

Eric Salwell – a former prosecutor, meaning he is an agent of the prison industrial complex, who is making a name for himself by going on to cable news networks and spewing Russiagate nonsense. Pardon me Eric, but I will literally die if I don’t get Medicare, so will millions of us. WE DO NOT CARE ABOUT RUSSIA! GIVE US HEALTH CARE AND ACCEPT THAT YOU LOST 2016 BECAUSE OF THE DNC’s SHITTY CANDIDATE.

Andrew Yang -Most people who support UBI only do so as an excuse to end all other welfare services. As a person who has survived only because of Medi-CAL let me just say, fuck that. Also do a little research into the “Yang Gang” and you might see why his base isn’t exactly something to be desired…

Moving on…

Joe Biden – Joe Biden is probably the worst person out of the entire list. Not just as a candidate but as a human being.

We already know that Biden doesn’t respect women’s personal space, add onto that his out of touch agism towards millennials, his horrible record on race, his moronic stances on marijuana (you can thank Biden for holding Obama back from legalization by the way) and the two little words his supporters hate to be reminded of, Anita Hill.

Put it all together and you have what can only be described as the most atrocious pile of unappealing since Walter Mondale. Mark my words, if Biden runs and gets the nomination he will be a Walter Mondale situation all over again for the democrats.

And lastly,

Marianne Williamson – I’ll be honest with you folks, I got nothing on her. Her activism is solid, she supports Warren and Sander’s stances, and she was an advocate for victims of the AIDS crisis when it was at its worst. Other than the fact she is a self help author and her obsession with the metaphysical, there really isn’t anything juicy to dig up on her.

Let’s be honest though, she doesn’t have a snowballs chance in hell.

Well here we are, after 20+ google searches here you have a conclusive list of how the other democratic nominees are either horrible people, or just flat out unelectable. I consider what I have done to be a public service.

Now can all of these candidates and there supporters just fuck off and give us the Sanders/Warren ticket we need! Why do so many no name hacks with no bold policy stances think they are the ones who can beat Trump!? WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR PEOPLE TO JUST READ THE FUCKING ROOM!? WE WANT BERNIE! END OF DISCUSSION!!!

What I Mean When I Say “Bernie isn’t perfect”

We have all heard it. Every Bernie supporter has said it at some point. Whether it be about his vote for FOFSTA or his near sighted comments about the border, every Berner has had to say these words at least once. “Bernie isn’t perfect.”

However something needs to be made clear, I am not giving Bernie a free pass on his shortcomings when I say that. Some of my fellow Bernie supporters are but that is a folly in my opinion. When I say “Bernie isn’t perfect” I am not saying we should ignore where Bernie needs improvement.

What I am saying is that his shortcomings are where we as a base need to build our own popular power. We can count on Bernie for certain material gains, but we can not count on him to solve all of our problems. It is not he who will change everything, it is us, the sullied and ignored masses. Bernie’s short comings are where we must organize the most, where we can strike where the iron is hottest.

I do not think Bernie is a saint, he has made several comments over the years that can only be responded to with a Captain Picard face palm meme. Nor do I think he is the patron saint of socialism, Bernie is definitely more of a social democrat than a democratic socialist. However I do think that his candidacy increases the odds we can answer some of the most immediate material needs of the modern day working class, the biggest being our need for healthcare. I think it can be said without much debate that Bernie has been solid on the medicare for all part of his platform as well as an increase in social services, meaning a Bernie presidency can be a catalyst for ending privatization. Yet there are several other issues such as his reinforcement of an imperialist dialogue and his lackluster stance on sex work.

Bernie’s comments on Venezuela and open borders are disappointing to say the least and his votes in favor of Sosta and Fofsta were genuinely damaging to the lives of sex workers. However, as Bernie himself states, this momentum that is becoming a genuinely left movement in the country is about us, not just him. Where Bernie falls short is where we, the socialists and the organizers, must step up.

Bernie’s stance on social services is solid, but his stance on sex work is vapid, it is therefore the duty of the left to assist the organization of sex works. I am not suggesting we step into their lives with a savior complex, no, we must build an environment where sex workers can organize themselves. It is the duty of leftists and labor organizers to foster self determination and democracy, and that can be achieved through genuine bottom up organization that we know will be forsaken by Bernie, not because of a lack of concern but because of alack of attention on his part. I do not think Bernie hates sex workers but I do think that he is focusing his energy where he knows he is most capable. The fact is no matter how much Bernie can help us make gains he cannot fix everything, no single person is able to do everything, period. While Bernie focuses on one avenue of material gains, so shall we focus our efforts wherever he falls short or wherever we cannot count on electoralism to give us a material win. It is there we will build communities and help others to build theirs. This is the ultimate truth of the inside/outside strategy. We must put equal energy to both the in and the out.

Another example of where we can build a genuine base is through international solidarity. I do not think we can count on an inherently imperialist office, I.E. the U.S. presidency, to be an agent of ending imperialism.

I do think that having a president like Bernie can increase the odds that our over blown military budgets will stop, but will he bring justice to the Indigenous? Will he account for our contributions to colonization? And how will he approach Venezuela, DPRK, or Cuba as president?

I have no doubt that Bernie will continue to disappoint with his international stance but I do think 1. His presidency would reduce the odds we will carry out constant, devastating interventionism and 2. His presidency would allow us to redirect the excessive funds received by the military into the social programs he wants to enact. Yet when it comes to solidarity, true solidarity with the working class in nations such as Syria, Palestine, or Venezuela, it is our duty to elevate the voices of those organizing for liberation.

Cliche though it is, I do agree with the sentiment that where there is crisis there is also opportunity. There are harsh realities to deal with when taking about Bernie’s candidacy. I acknowledge that FOFSTA and SESTA are not just policy talking points, we are talking about peoples lives. The same goes for the effects of American interventionism, this is not just a policy talking point, lives have been destroyed in Iraq, Libya, Palestine, Venezuela, and too many other nations to list.

We can depend on Bernie for increasing our odds of serious material gains, especially when it comes to healthcare, but we must still and always depend on ourselves to be the true agents of community and organization. Those efforts of community and organization must be directed where Bernie or public servants like Bernie fall short.

This is our duty no matter who is running or who is president. Where there are needs to be met, leftists must be there to foster community and organization and work to elevate the voices in the midst of the hardest part of that work. Sex work and internationalism are simply two places where we as leftists have a duty to work, as we have a duty to get medicare for all and college for all. When I say Bernie is not perfect, I am not saying we must forgive him or ignore those imperfections, I am saying that these shortcomings are arenas for genuine base building. When I say Bernie is not perfect, what I am really saying is, “We must never stop organizing.”

Chelsea Clinton, Islamophobia and the White Supremacy of American Liberals

Yesterday a confrontation at a vigil between Chelsea Clinton and a Muslim woman who was in mourning over the Chirstchurch massacre went viral. The video shows that the woman stood up to Clinton for being present at the vigil after Clinton’s comments about Ilan Omar opened up a massive wave of islamophobic attacks against Omar. Clinton never apologized to Omar.

Clinton can be seen in the video listening to the women, but it is clear she is not actually registering the woman’s objections to her presence, or she is actively ignoring them. Clinton simply nods and gives a “non apology” that would make her parents proud.

Clinton replies to the woman’s complaints with, “I’m sorry you feel that way,” repeatedly. At one point in the video a comrade of the Muslim woman angrily asks Clinton, “What does that even mean?” To which Clinton gave no answer.

My dear reader, as a white male with a middle class background, please trust me when I say that I know what “I’m sorry you feel that way” means.

“I’m sorry you feel that way,” is, to be frank, a backhanded white people way of avoiding an actual apology. The objective of using those specific words is intentional, the purpose is to make someone think you apologized to them without actually apologizing for anything. It is annoying and backhanded, I have seen people in my white family do it all the time and it is one of the whitest things a person of privilege such as Clinton could do.

When someone says “I’m sorry you feel that way,” instead of just, “I’m genuinely sorry,” they are not apologizing for their actions but making it seem that you are the one who should be apologetic for yours. I can vouch on good authority that “I’m sorry you feel that way,” is Clinton’s passive aggressive way of saying “I did nothing wrong, you should stop bothering me.” There is a word for this, gaslighting.

Of course Clinton’s followers leap to her defense while ignoring the reality that defending a white woman who upset a Muslim in mourning just after a mosque shooting is in of itself an act of white supremacy and Islamophobia.

I got into several twitter debates already about this. Many said that the woman’s attack on Clinton, “wasn’t graceful.” This is the same kind of argument you hear from city council members or local politicians who get shouted down or cussed out by Black Lives Matter supporters when there is a police involved murder of a black life. Mayors and city councils are faster to get upset at a black person for saying “Bitch stop killing us!” because swearing in city council chambers “violates decorum.” Instead of focusing on the message, which is the “stop killing us” part of that sentence, these selective solidarity liberals focus only on the method.

Instead of focusing on the message of this woman, which was “your comments about Ilan Omar perpetuate this kind of slaughter and you have yet to apologize for it,” she is blatantly ignored because the woman spoke to Clinton with intensity and anger. Anger that was completely justified, especially since Clinton and the liberals who left Omar vulnerable to islamophobic attacks have yet to apologize.

To be in a position where you are more concerned with an oppressed person’s delivery of their message rather than with their actual message is the epitome of white privilege and Clinton and her supporters fail to see that.

Aside from saying that the woman was “not graceful” other’s have said that her rebuking of Clinton was a staged act because the woman was wearing a Bernie Sander’s “College for all, Medicare for all” t-shirt. Some tweets even read “Who wears a political shirt to a vigil? It was clearly staged.” Once again we see an act of white supremacy here. To tell a Muslim woman, or anyone for that matter, what they should wear in their time of mourning is not only bad optics, it is belittling and dehumanizing. This is not about her wearing a Bernie shirt, it is about the fact that she felt used and ignored and vulnerable, a vulnerability which Clinton enabled with her rhetoric. Does any of that matter to liberals? No, because they don’t like what she was wearing when she did it.

Other defenders of Clinton have argued that “she was an invited guest,” and she didn’t “deserve” to be called out because she “came to the vigil in good faith.” First of all, the Clintons, or any capitalist for that matter, has never done anything in “good faith.” There is always an ulterior motive to anything the capitalist class does. Clinton was not there to mourn with muslims, she was there to be seen mourning with muslims.

It should also be noted that there is nothing to be suprised about here. The Clinton’s have a long record for both enabling white supremacy and using the optics of black or brown people’s issues to make themselves look good. Clinton being present at the vigil is similar to her father going on Arseno Hall or her mother moving to Harlem, it is a chance to be seen amongst an oppressed group without actually doing anything to help them. Let us also not forget that Hillary bragged about having slaves at the Arkansas governor’s mansion (prison labor was in fact used during their entire stay) or her infamous “superpredators” comment. Nor should we forget the crime bill signed into law by her husband which has perpetuated the modern day Jim Crow of prison labor to increase exponentially. Clinton being at that vigil was an attempt to use non white people for optics, period.

There is no excuse to defend Clinton on this one, yet of course liberals will do it because liberals will do anything to protect their identities as the progressive and understanding ones, even though their desire to carve out a progressive identity is coming at the cost of black and brown lives and is inevitably perpetuating the very forms of hatred they claim to be against.

To suggest that this act was staged because the woman was wearing a Bernie shirt is belittling and reductionist to her sense of mourning. To give the woman instructions on how she “should have” approached Clinton is an act of white supremacy. To defend a white woman who perpetuated Islamophobia with her rhetoric instead of listening to a Muslim woman’s righteous outrage is in of itself further perpetuating Islamophobia and therefore is an act of perpetuating white supremacy. This shows that liberals only express solidarity when their capitalist narrative is agreed with. Liberals claim they want to stand in solidarity with muslims, but clearly it has to be the right kind of muslims I.E. not ones who support Bernie Sanders or criticize Israel.

This whole situation sums up why we must abandon liberalism and why we must embrace socialism and communism, however we must do it from a place that actively rejects Islamophobia and all other forms of hatred. If socialists are to be the the active agents against white supremacy that we claim to be then we must also actively work to reject Islamophobia. This means we must not fall into the liberal trap of being selective with our solidarity. We must stand with muslims whether or not their stories or perspectives agree with our narrative. We should actively be incorporating their perspectives into our narrative and dialectic. A failure to do so would in-turn perpetuate white supremacy. We also must not reduce our Muslim comrades to just being victims in need of our help. The woman in the video is clearly not someone who needs a patronizing helping hand, but rather she is clearly an active agent in resisting the oppression that is Islamophobia as are most of the muslims in places such as Palestine who are actively fighting against their oppression.

The woman in the video had every right to confront Chelsea Clinton and Clinton clearly has no remorse for what she said and did to Ilan Omar and she refuses to see how that affected not just Omar but muslims as a whole. Those leaping to Clinton’s defense are actively defending white supremacy and are either being belittling or selective in their solidarity. Socialists must show support for muslims but that does not just mean attacking Clinton or supporting muslims who fit our narrative. It must mean that we elevate the narratives of Islamophobia’s greatest victims. To over come white supremacy we must be actively incorporating all of the realities of oppression into our analysis. To forsake Islamophobia or perpetuate it is to perpetuate the same white supremacy that prevents black families from getting justice and is splitting child and parent at the border.

Clinton had no business being at that vigil, liberals have no business defending her presence, and socialists must make it our business to be active agents in ending all dimensions of white supremacy, we can forsake nothing if we are to be active agents against oppression. If you disagree with me, well then, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Link to video on twitter

The Professional Protester Episode 51 : Reparations Must Be More Than a Single Transaction

https://youtu.be/pP6fLVdwaNI

Recently Bernie Sanders caught some flak when Julian Castro “called him out” on his comments on reparations. Bernie said reparations has to be more than just “writing a check.” Julian Castro countered with “Why wouldn’t you want to compensate people who were property?”

Putting aside that this completely misrepresents what Bernie ACTUALLY said, I feel this is demonstrative of the difference of how socialists and abolitionists approach reparations versus how liberal capitalists approach social justice as a whole

Reparations for slavery cannot be reduced to a singular transaction. Even if we wrote every black person in the U.S. a check, what would that do to solve the problem of police murdering black children? How would simply giving everyone a check bring us abolition of the modern day system of Jim Crow and slavery that are our prisons?

Ask yourselves this, we cut everyone descended from slaves a check, then what? Where is that money likely to go? Statistically speaking it is most likely going to go towards paying off student debt, medical bills, mortgages, or most likely to pay the vampire that is rent! Once that money is spent, what happens after the fact? Will their be restorative justice for those who have been imprisoned for too long? Will police who kill with a sense of trigger happy racism be brought to justice? The money dolled out would create a small degree of economic stimulus, I will concede that, but what would that do to alter the systemic issues that paralyze the working class, most of whom I might add are black women?

This is a symptom of the liberal capitalist, reducing civil rights and justice to a matter of transactionalism. Look at the narrative they take when discussing the suffragette or civil rights movements. Too often I here that the right to vote was “given” or “conceded” to women and black people by the powers that be. NO! I challenge that!

These victories were not “given” to women or people of color from powers above them, it was taken by them and it was taken rightfully so! What happened in both the suffragette and the civil rights movements was that oppressed people 1.organized 2. took mass militant action 3. took power using their mass collected power. It was not transactional the way that neoliberals would have us believe. These rights were not granted from on high, they were seized from the bottom up! This idea that rights and justice are simply a transaction is perpetuated by capitalists who think that you can throw some pocket change at an oppressed populace and then go “See, racism is over!”

No, reparations cannot simply be reduced to a single transaction, that is problematic for many reasons mostly in that it infantilizes black people and dehumanizes the issue of racial justice. Justice is much more than financial transaction and neoliberal capitalists need to learn that.

My Case for #Bernie2020 Part II

Please be sure to read the first part of my Bernie 2020 argument here.

I support Bernie Sanders and his 2020 candidacy. I am also one of the first people to admit he is not perfect, and by “not perfect” what I mean is that I do agree with certain people that he has taken some very crappy stances on some very important issues.

So in my persuit of truth, scrutiny, and integrity as a lefist organizer I would like to address the largest reservations that I, a very adamant Bernie supporter mind you, have about Bernie and how we might address them.

1. His FOFSTA/SESTA Votes

This is one of most pressing reservations I have about Bernie at the moment. It cannot be ignored that the passage of both these bills has put the lives of sexworkers at an exponentially higher risk. Bernie should be held accountable for voting yes on these two bills.

But let us review previous Bernie controversies;

When Bernie was disrupted by Black Lives Matter organizers, he gave them the stage and effectively yielded his speaking time to them. When debating Hillary Clinton and asked the question “Do black lives matter or do all lives matter?” Bernie unequivocally answered “black lives matter.”

When the news broke of sexual harassment on his previous presidential campaign, Bernie 1. Apologized 2. Hired a new campaign manager. 3. Has met with the victims of harassment from his campaign. 4. Promised to be more attentive about the issue of instituitonal sexism.

When confronted about his vote on the 1994 crime bill, he admitted it was a mistake.

If there is any politician who responds to popular pressure and actively corrects their stances, it’s Bernie Sanders. I am confident that if we can correct issues with white supremacy and sexism in Bernie Sanders’ campaigns, we can correct his stances on sexwork.

It should also be noted that every democratic candidate for president who sits in either the house or senate voted in favor of these bills. We should not single out Bernie for something that was clearly systematically perpetuated. Further, if Bernie had voted no on these bills the Hillary bots would have mercilessly ostricized him as a supporter of human trafficking. The fact of the matter is FOFSTA and SESTA was a “damned if you do or damned if you don’t” situation for Bernie Sanders.

We need to be organizing to protect sex workers, and we must also make sure we are still pursuing the most material gains for the most people.

2. Electoral politics never solves anything and Bernie will sell us out if he becomes president.

First of all, leftists who reject electoral politics are one of the reasons that conservatives have been able to do things like strip women of access to abortion and poison our planet. Also if electoral politics never solved anything then the GOP would not be dedicating so much of their resources to oppressing black voters. I do share the sentiment however that elections in America as they stand represent a system that will inevitably perpetuate colonialism and racism no matter who is president because it was born out of colonialism and racism. This however is more of an argument in favor of overall systematic change (revolution) and is less of a conclusive argument against Bernie. I share the sentiment that revolution is the only way to abolish capitalism and purge the systems it props up to oppress women, lgbtq, and non white people. However, when we ignore elections or skip out on voting, we get presidency’s where women’s reproductive health is at stake and where oil fracking poisons our water wells. Also, to assume anything will be definite such as Bernie selling us out is nearsighted. To assume that conjecture will become definite fact is in of itself a logical fallacy and logical fallacies have no place in organizing.

3. Bernie is just another old white guy

First of all this is not a real criticism, it is a description. Secondly, no. The historic significance of electing our first jewish president, especially one who is actually to some degree critical of Israel, would not be more of the same. Also while I do think that a presidency that is filled by a queer woman of color would be a historic boom, it would not neccearily be a reassurance of good policy. Barack Obama was our first black president, but did his presidnecy see the quality of life improve for most black Americans? Did he give the whole working class the material gains we were hoping for? Do we have universal healthcare or free public college? Did having a black president end white supremacy and stop the police from slaughtering unarmed black people in the streets and their homes? Was obama not a worse deporter in chief than George W Bush?

It is important that we elevate people from oppressed communities into positions of leadership, however we must be looking at the effects of their policies in the process. What would Kamila Harris’s election mean for women if she compromises on sex work, as she did (like Bernie) on the FOFSTA and SESTA votes? What would Julian Castro’s election do for latinx and indigenious people if neoliberal policies are still pursued? The identity of our president will always be signficiantly less important than their actual policies and the presidency of Barack Obama is proof.

4. Bernie is too old.

This one is just flat out agist. Some of the best world leaders have also been some of our eldest. Nelson Madela of South Africa and Jose Mujica of Uruguay were well into their senior citizen years when elected to public office and both served as some of the most effective international leaders in recent memory.

With age also comes a degree of experience not seen in any presidency. Bernie has been a mayor, a congressional rep, and a senator. Very few presidents have come into the office with that degree of experience. Not to mention that, if he chooses a woman of color as his running mate, the possible short tenure of his presidency due to age increases the chances that a woman of color will immediately follow him.

Concerns about a Bernie candidacy are valid, but what is not valid is forsaking a chance to make immediate material gains. Will a Bernie presidency make the world socialist? No, but will it increase our chances of socialized policies such as medicare for all, college for all, and jobs for all? Absolutely.

5. Bernie and Internationalism

Next to his FOFSTA votes, this one has become the biggest concerns I have about a Bernie presidency. Recently Bernie tweeted about the need for President Maduro to allow in America’s “humanitarian aid” into Venezuela. Previously he had tweeted that the United States has an unsuccessful history of interfering with Latin America, but he simultaneously validated the neoliberal opposition of Venezuela by perpetuating the right wing talking point about protesters being repressed.

The protesters in Venezuela’s opposition are not protesting oppression but rather protesting because they do not like having their rich privileges infringed to fund Bolivarian social programs and because of their white supremacist hatred of Venezuela’s indigenous. The fact that Bernie would believe or even validate the right wing talking point of “humanitarian aid” is incredibly disappointing.

John Bolton and Trump have already used the guise of “humanitarian aid” to sneak guns and weapons into countries like Venezuela. This is one of the oldest tricks of U.S. imperialism. Trucks claiming to be bringing in aid are in fact smuggling weapons in order to arm the right wing oppositions, as was the case in Nicaragua and Panama in the 1980s. It should also be noted that Maduro is allowing aid into the country from the U.N? and nations not set on overthrowing him.

Now, I do not think this is something we can just ignore and it is possible to both support Bernie while criticizing Bernie for this. A valid point was made by Black Socialists of America when they tweeted “Liberals will not have the same criticisms of Bernie as Leftists will.” Which is very true. Being critical of Bernie when it comes to international matters will not play into liberal fodder about russian bots or any of that garbage spewed by MSNBC loyalists. However I think it goes deeper than that.

The reality is that I support Bernie because he will provide us with the most material gains than any other candidate will. No other candidate has reassured the public that they will fight for eco-sustainability and healthcare as much as Bernie has. However the reality is that even if Bernie becomes the first socialist president of the united states, he will still be president of the united states. I think Bernie is evidence that no matter how much good he can do, he cannot undue the hundreds of years of colonialism and imperialism which created this country. (See my second point in this post).

We can count on Bernie to help us get green jobs and healthcare, but we cannot count on anyone but ourselves to overthrow American imperialism. This does not mean I will withdraw my support from Bernie, quite the contrary, if anything it reinforces my point. When leftists say “Bernie is not perfect,” we do not mean “lets ignore his faults.” What we mean is “the rest of the work will have to be done ourselves.” This would be true even if Bernie was not running. Remember, this is not actually about Bernie Sanders, it is about us getting the things we desperately need to survive.

All in all, I am still a Bernie supporter. I am still absolutely in favor of Bernie 2020.